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National responses to global health targets: exploring policy transfer in the context of the UNAIDS '90-90-90' treatment targets in Ghana and Uganda.
Health Policy and Planning. 2018 Jan 1; 33(1):17-33.Global health organizations frequently set disease-specific targets with the goal of eliciting adoption at the national-level; consideration of the influence of target setting on national policies, program and health budgets is of benefit to those setting targets and those intended to respond. In 2014, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS set ‘ambitious’ treatment targets for country adoption: 90% of HIV-positive persons should know their status; 90% of those on treatment; 90% of those achieving viral suppression. Using case studies from Ghana and Uganda, we explore how the target and its associated policy content have been adopted at the national level. That is whether adoption is in rhetoric only or supported by program, policy or budgetary changes. We review 23 (14 from Ghana, 9 from Uganda) national policy, operational and strategic documents for the HIV response and assess commitments to ‘90-90-90’. In-person semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively sampled key informants (17 in Ghana, 20 in Uganda) involved in program-planning and resource allocation within HIV to gain insight into factors facilitating adoption of 90-90-90. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically, inductively and deductively, guided by pre-existing policy theories, including Dolowitz and Marsh’s policy transfer framework to describe features of the transfer and the Global Health Advocacy and Policy Project framework to explain observations. Regardless of notable resource constraints, transfer of the 90-90-90 targets was evident beyond rhetoric with substantial shifts in policy and programme activities. In both countries, there was evidence of attempts to minimize resource constraints by seeking programme efficiencies, prioritization of program activities and devising domestic financing mechanisms; however, significant resource gaps persist. An effective health network, comprised of global and local actors, mediated the adoption and adaptation, facilitating a shift in the HIV program from ‘business as usual’ to approaches targeting geographies and populations.
Vaccine. 2016 Oct 10; 34(43):5144-5149.BACKGROUND: The African Region is set to achieving polio eradication. During the years of operations, the Polio Eradication Initiative [PEI] in the Region mobilized and trained tremendous amount of manpower with specializations in surveillance, social mobilization, supplementary immunization activities [SIAs], data management and laboratory staff. Systems were put in place to accelerate the eradication of polio in the Region. Standardized, real-time surveillance and response capacity were established. Many innovations were developed and applied to reaching people in difficult and security challenged terrains. All of these resulted in accumulation of lessons and best practices, which can be used in other priority public health intervention if documented. METHODS: The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa [WHO/AFRO] developed a process for the documentation of these best practices, which was pretested in Uganda. The process entailed assessment of three critical elements [effectiveness, efficiency and relevance] five aspects [ethical soundness, sustainability, involvement of partners, community involvement, and political commitment] of best practices. A scored card which graded the elements and aspects on a scale of 0-10 was developed and a true best practice should score >50 points. Independent public health experts documented polio best practices in eight countries in the Region, using this process. The documentation adopted the cross-sectional design in the generation of data, which combined three analytical designs, namely surveys, qualitative inquiry and case studies. For the selection of countries, country responses to earlier questionnaire on best practices were screened for potential best practices. Another criterion used was the level of PEI investment in the countries. RESULTS: A total of 82 best practices grouped into ten thematic areas were documented. There was a correlation between the health system performances with DPT3 as proxy, level of PEI investment in countries with number of best practice. The application of the process for the documentation of polio best practices in the African Region brought out a number of advantages. The triangulation of data collected using multiple methods and the collection of data from all levels of the programme proved useful as it provided opportunity for data verification and corroboration. It also helped to overcome some of the data challenge. Copyright (c) 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Dec 22; 1-9.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation during pregnancy to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. Multiple micronutrient (MMN) supplementation in pregnancy has been implemented in select countries and emerging evidence suggests that MMN supplementation in pregnancy may provide additional benefits compared to IFA alone. In 2015, WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Micronutrient Initiative held a “Technical Consultation on MMN supplements in pregnancy: implementation considerations for successful incorporation into existing programmemes,” which included a call for indicators needed for monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance of MMN supplementation programs. Currently, global surveillance and monitoring data show that overall IFA supplementation programs suffer from low coverage and intake adherence, despite inclusion in national policies. Common barriers that limit the effectiveness of IFA-which also apply to MMN programs-include weak supply chains, low access to antenatal care services, low-quality behavior change interventions to support and motivate women, and weak or non-existent monitoring systems used for programme improvement. The causes of these barriers in a given country need careful review to resolve them. As countries heighten their focus on supplementation during pregnancy, or if they decide to initiate or transition into MMN supplementation, a priority is to identify key monitoring indicators to address these issues and support effective programs. National and global monitoring and surveillance data on IFA supplementation during pregnancy are primarily derived from cross-sectional surveys and, on a more routine basis, through health and logistics management information systems. Indicators for IFA supplementation exist; however, the new indicators for MMN supplementation need to be incorporated. We reviewed practice-based evidence, guided by the WHO/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logic model for vitamin and mineral interventions in public health programs, and used existing manuals, published literature, country reports, and the opinion of experts, to identify monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance indicators for MMN supplementation programs. We also considered cross-cutting indicators that could be used across programme settings, as well as those specific to common delivery models, such as antenatal care services. We then described mechanisms for collecting these data, including integration within existing government monitoring systems, as well as other existing or proposed systems. Monitoring data needs at all stages of the programme lifecycle were considered, as well as the feasibility and cost of data collection. We also propose revisions to global-, national-, and subnational-surveillance indicators based on these reviews.
Multiple-micronutrient supplementation: evidence from large-scale prenatal programmes on coverage, compliance and impact.
Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Dec 22; 1-11.Micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy pose important challenges for public-health, given the potential adverse outcomes not only during pregnancy but across the life-course. Provision of iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements is the strategy most commonly practiced and recommended globally. How to successfully implement IFA and multiple micronutrient supplementation interventions among pregnant women and to achieve sustainable/permanent solutions to prenatal micronutrient deficiencies remain unresolved issues in many countries. This paper aims to analyze available experiences of prenatal IFA and multiple micronutrient interventions to distil learning for their effective planning and large-scale implementation. Relevant articles and programme-documentation were comprehensively identified from electronic databases, websites of major-agencies and through hand-searching of relevant documents. Retrieved documents were screened and potentially relevant reports were critically examined by the authors with the aim of identifying a set of case studies reflecting regional variation, a mix of implementation successes and failures, and a mix of programs and large-scale experimental studies. Information on implementation, coverage, compliance, and impact was extracted from reports of large-scale interventions in Central America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO/CDC Logic-Model for Micronutrient Interventions in Public Health was used as an organizing framework for analyzing and presenting the evidence. Our findings suggest that to successfully implement supplementation interventions and achieve sustainable-permanent solutions efforts must focus on factors and processes related to quality, cost-effectiveness, coverage, utilization, demand, outcomes, impacts, and sustainability of programs including strategic analysis, management, collaborations to pilot a project, and careful monitoring, midcourse corrections, supervision and logistical-support to gradually scaling it up.
From Research to Policy: the WHO with developing guidelines on the potential risk of HIV acquisition and progestogen-only contraception use.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Dec; 5(4):540-546.Add to my documents.
Optimal feeding of low-birthweight infants in low- and middle-income countries: highlights from the World Health Organization 2011 guidelines.
[Washington, D.C.], MCSP, 2017 Jun. 6 p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)This brief presents the updated WHO Guidelines on Optimal Feeding of Low Birth-Weight Infants in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and highlights changes and best practices for optimal feeding of LBW infants. It is intended to assist policymakers, program managers, educators, and health care providers involved in caring for LBW infants to put the recommendations into action. It is hoped that such actions will contribute to improving the quality of care for LBW infants, thereby reducing LBW mortality and improving health outcomes for this group.
[Washington, D.C.], MCSP, 2017 Jun. 5 p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)This brief complements the 2012 WHO Guidelines on Basic Newborn Resuscitation, and highlights key changes and best practices for newborn resuscitation in resource-limited settings. Successful implementation of these recommendations at the time of birth is intended to improve the quality of care for newborns, and contribute to better health outcomes and reduce preventable newborn deaths and disabilities due to birth asphyxia.
Global guidance on criteria and processes for validation: Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Second edition.
Geneva, Switzerland,WHO, 2017. 52 p.This second edition of the EMTCT global validation guidance document provides standardized processes and consensus-developed criteria to validate EMTCT of HIV and syphilis, and to recognize high-HIV burden countries that have made significant progress on the path to elimination. The guidance places strong emphasis on country-led accountability, rigorous analysis, intensive programme assessment and multilevel collaboration, including the involvement of communities of women living with HIV. It provides guidance to evaluate the country’s EMTCT programme, the quality and accuracy of its laboratory and data collection mechanisms, as well as its efforts to uphold human rights and equality of women living with HIV, and their involvement in decision-making processes.
Implementing malaria in pregnancy programs in the context of World Health Organization recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience.
[Washington, D.C.], MCSP, 2017 Apr. 6 p.This technical brief highlights recommendations for the prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnancy (MiP) in the context of the World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations on Antenatal Care for a Positive Pregnancy Experience, published in 2016. Also available in French and Portuguese.
Estimating the value of point-of-care HPV testing in three low- and middle-income countries: a modeling study.
BMC Cancer. 2017 Nov 25; 17(1):791.BACKGROUND: Where resources are available, the World Health Organization recommends cervical cancer screening with human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing and subsequent treatment of HPV-positive women with timely cryotherapy. Newer technologies may facilitate a same-day screen-and-treat approach, but these testing systems are generally too expensive for widespread use in low-resource settings. METHODS: To assess the value of a hypothetical point-of-care HPV test, we used a mathematical simulation model of the natural history of HPV and data from the START-UP multi-site demonstration project to estimate the health benefits and costs associated with a shift from a 2-visit approach (requiring a return visit for treatment) to 1-visit HPV testing (i.e., screen-and-treat). We estimated the incremental net monetary benefit (INMB), which represents the maximum additional lifetime cost per woman that could be incurred for a new point-of-care HPV test to be cost-effective, depending on expected loss to follow-up between visits (LTFU) in a given setting. RESULTS: For screening three times in a lifetime at 100% coverage of the target population, when LTFU was 10%, the INMB of the 1-visit relative to the 2-visit approach was I$13 in India, I$36 in Nicaragua, and I$17 in Uganda. If LTFU was 30% or greater, the INMB values for the 1-visit approach in all countries was equivalent to or exceeded total lifetime costs associated with screening three times in a lifetime. At a LTFU level of 70%, the INMB of the 1-visit approach was I$127 in India, I$399 in Nicaragua, and I$121 in Uganda. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that point-of-care technology for cervical cancer screening may be worthy of high investment if linkage to treatment can be assured, particularly in settings where LTFU is high.
Do countries rely on the World Health Organization for translating research findings into clinical guidelines? A case study.
Globalization and Health. 2016 Oct 6; 12(1):58.BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization's (WHO) antiretroviral therapy (ART) guidelines have generally been adopted rapidly and with high fidelity by countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus far, however, WHO has not published specific guidance on nutritional care and support for (non-pregnant) adults living with HIV despite a solid evidence base for some interventions. This offers an opportunity for a case study on whether national clinical guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa provide concrete recommendations in the face of limited guidance by WHO. This study, therefore, aims to determine if national HIV treatment guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa contain specific guidance on nutritional care and support for non-pregnant adults living with HIV. METHODS: We identified the most recent national HIV treatment guidelines in sub-Saharan African countries with English as an official language. Using pre-specified criteria, we determined for each guideline whether it provides guidance to clinicians on each of five components of nutritional care and support for adults living with HIV: assessment of nutritional status, dietary counseling, micronutrient supplementation, ready-to-use therapeutic or supplementary foods, and food subsidies. RESULTS: We found that national HIV treatment guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa generally do not contain concrete recommendations on nutritional care and support for non-pregnant adults living with HIV. CONCLUSIONS: Given that decisions on nutritional care and support are inevitably being made at the clinician-patient level, and that clinicians have a relative disadvantage in systematically identifying, summarizing, and weighing up research evidence compared to WHO and national governments, there is a need for more specific clinical guidance. In our view, such guidance should at a minimum recommend daily micronutrient supplements for adults living with HIV who are in pre-ART stages, regular dietary counseling, periodic assessment of anthropometric status, and additional nutritional management of undernourished patients. More broadly, our findings suggest that countries in sub-Saharan Africa look to WHO for guidance in translating evidence into clinical guidelines. It is, thus, likely that the development of concrete recommendations by WHO on nutritional interventions for people living with HIV would lead to more specific guidelines at the country-level and, ultimately, better clinical decisions and treatment outcomes.
Program Implementation of Option B+ at a President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-Supported HIV Clinic Improves Clinical Indicators But Not Retention in Care in Mbarara, Uganda.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2017 Aug; 31(8):335-341.2013 WHO guidelines for prevention of mother to child transmission recommend combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant women, regardless of CD4 count (Option B/B+). We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from a government-operated HIV clinic in Mbarara, Uganda before and after implementation of Option B+ to assess the impact on retention in care. We limited our analysis to women not on ART at the time of their first reported pregnancy with CD4 count >350. We fit regression models to estimate relationships between calendar period (Option A vs. Option B+) and the primary outcome of interest, retention in care. One thousand and sixty-two women were included in the analysis. Women were more likely to start ART within 6 months of pregnancy in the Option B+ period (68% vs. 7%, p < 0.0001) and had significantly greater increases in CD4 count 1 year after pregnancy (+172 vs. -5 cells, p < 0.001). However, there was no difference in the proportion of women retained in care 1 year after pregnancy (73% vs. 70%, p = 0.34). In models adjusted for age, distance to clinic, marital status, and CD4 count, Option B+ was associated with a nonsignificant 30% increased odds of retention in care at 1 year [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.30, 95% CI 0.98-1.73, p = 0.06]. After transition to an Option B+ program, pregnant women with CD4 count >350 were more likely to initiate combination therapy; however, interventions to mitigate losses from HIV care during pregnancy are needed to improve the health of women, children, and families.
Complementary Feeding Interventions Have a Small but Significant Impact on Linear and Ponderal Growth of Children in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Nov; 147(11):2169S-2178S.Background: World Health Assembly member states have committed to ambitious global targets for reductions in stunting and wasting by 2025. Improving complementary diets of children aged 6-23 mo is a recommended approach for reducing stunting in children <5 y old. Less is known about the potential of these interventions to prevent wasting.Objective: The aim of this article was to review and synthesize the current literature for the impact of complementary feeding interventions on linear [length-for-age z score (LAZ)] and ponderal [weight-for-length z score (WLZ)] growth of children aged 6-23 mo, with the specific goal of updating intervention-outcome linkages in the Lives Saved Tool (LiST).Methods: We started our review with studies included in the previous LiST review and searched for articles published since January 2012. We identified longitudinal trials that compared children aged 6-23 mo who received 1 of 2 types of complementary feeding interventions (nutrition education or counseling alone or complementary food supplementation with or without nutrition education or counseling) with a no-intervention control. We assessed study quality and generated pooled estimates of LAZ and WLZ change, as well as length and weight gain, for each category of intervention.Results: Interventions that provided nutrition education or counseling had a small but significant impact on linear growth in food-secure populations [LAZ standardized mean difference (SMD): 0.11; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.22] but not on ponderal growth. Complementary food supplementation interventions with or without nutrition education also had a small, significant effect in food-insecure settings on both LAZ (SMD: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.13) and WLZ (SMD: 0.05; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.08).Conclusions: Nutrition education and complementary feeding interventions both had a small but significant impact on linear growth, and complementary feeding interventions also had an impact on ponderal growth of children aged 6-23 mo in low- and middle-income countries. The updated LiST model will support nutrition program planning and evaluation efforts by allowing users to model changes in intervention coverage on both stunting and wasting. (c) 2017 American Society for Nutrition.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2017 Nov 10; 66(44):1226-1229.The collection, analysis, and use of data to measure and improve immunization program performance are priorities for the World Health Organization (WHO), global partners, and national immunization programs (NIPs). High quality data are essential for evidence-based decision-making to support successful NIPs. Consistent recording and reporting practices, optimal access to and use of health information systems, and rigorous interpretation and use of data for decision-making are characteristics of high-quality immunization information systems. In 2015 and 2016, immunization information system assessments (IISAs) were conducted in Kenya and Ghana using a new WHO and CDC assessment methodology designed to identify root causes of immunization data quality problems and facilitate development of plans for improvement. Data quality challenges common to both countries included low confidence in facility-level target population data (Kenya = 50%, Ghana = 53%) and poor data concordance between child registers and facility tally sheets (Kenya = 0%, Ghana = 3%). In Kenya, systemic challenges included limited supportive supervision and lack of resources to access electronic reporting systems; in Ghana, challenges included a poorly defined subdistrict administrative level. Data quality improvement plans (DQIPs) based on assessment findings are being implemented in both countries. IISAs can help countries identify and address root causes of poor immunization data to provide a stronger evidence base for future investments in immunization programs.
The relative roles of ANC and EPI in the continuous distribution of LLINs: a qualitative study in four countries.
Health Policy and Planning. 2017 May 1; 32(4):467-475.Background: The continuous distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) for malaria prevention, through the antenatal care (ANC) and the Expanded Programme on Immunizations (EPI), is recommended by the WHO to improve and maintain LLIN coverage. Despite these recommendations, little is known about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the ANC and EPI-based LLIN distribution. This study aimed to explore and compare the roles of the ANC and EPI for LLIN distribution in four African countries. Methods: In a qualitative evaluation of continuous distribution through the ANC and EPI, semi-structured, individual and group interviews were conducted in Kenya, Malawi, Mali, and Rwanda. Respondents included national, sub-national, and facility-level health staff, and were selected to capture a range of roles related to malaria, ANC and EPI programmes. Policies, guidelines, and data collection tools were reviewed as a means of triangulation to assess the structure of LLIN distribution, and the methods of data collection and reporting for malaria, ANC and EPI programmes. Results: In the four countries visited, distribution of LLINs was more effectively integrated through ANC than through EPI because of a) stronger linkages and involvement between malaria and reproductive health programmes, as compared to malaria and EPI, and b) more complete programme monitoring for ANC-based distribution, compared to EPI-based distribution. Conclusions: Opportunities for improving the distribution of LLINs through these channels exist, especially in the case of EPI. For both ANC and EPI, integrated distribution of LLINs has the potential to act as an incentive, improving the already strong coverage of both these essential services. The collection and reporting of data on LLINs distributed through the ANC and EPI can provide insight into the performance of LLIN distribution within these programmes. Greater attention to data collection and use, by both the global malaria community, and the integrated programmes, can improve this distribution channel strength and effectiveness.
BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2018 Jan; 44(1):66-68.Following publication of the author's trial on the effects of postnatal depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) compared with the copper intrauterine device (IUD) on postnatal depression in this journal in July 2016, they have sought to evaluate contraceptive discontinuation in our study sample. Postnatal contraception is promoted as part of the WHO strategy to reduce the unmet need for family planning in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and to reduce preventable maternal and child mortality. However, little is known about discontinuation rates associated with postnatal contraception use in these settings. From the trial, 75 of 242 participants were contactable two or more years after randomisation and 54 consented to a follow-up interview, which was conducted by a Masters student from the University of Fort Hare (NDY). Twenty-three women had received DMPA and 31 women an IUD. In the DMPA and IUD arms, respectively, 48% (11/23) and 42% (13/31) had discontinued their contraceptive methods by the time of the interview. All participants who discontinued did so within the first year, 10 within 3 months of allocation (DMPA=4, IUD=6), and 17 within 6 months (DMPA=7, IUD=10). Six of the participants allocated to DMPA (26%) and five allocated to the IUD (16%) became pregnant following discontinuation.
Safer women, safer world: a fund to increase the number of women UN Peacekeepers and better protect women and girls in conflict situations.
Washington, D.C., Center for Global Development, 2017 Jun. 4 p. (Center for Global Development Brief)Having more women peacekeepers is linked with large reductions in sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and more sustainable peace. The UN could potentially raise the proportion of women peacekeepers to 20 percent for around $75 million. A small multilateral trust fund would offer supplementary payments to troop-contributing countries for each woman peacekeeper provided.
Designing HIV testing algorithms based on 2015 WHO guidelines using data from six sites in sub-Saharan Africa.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2017 Oct; 55(10):3006-3015.Our objective was to evaluate the performance of HIV testing algorithms based on WHO recommendations, using data from specimens collected at six HIV testing and counseling sites in sub-Saharan Africa (Conakry, Guinea; Kitgum and Arua, Uganda; Homa Bay, Kenya; Douala, Cameroon; Baraka, Democratic Republic of Congo). A total of 2,780 samples, including 1,306 HIV-positive samples, were included in the analysis. HIV testing algorithms were designed using Determine as a first test. Second and third rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were selected based on site-specific performance, adhering where possible to the WHO-recommended minimum requirements of 99% sensitivity and specificity. The threshold for specificity was reduced to 98% or 96% if necessary. We also simulated algorithms consisting of one RDT followed by a simple confirmatory assay. The positive predictive values (PPV) of the simulated algorithms ranged from 75.8% to 100% using strategies recommended for high-prevalence settings, 98.7% to 100% using strategies recommended for lowprevalence settings, and 98.1% to 100% using a rapid test followed by a simple confirmatory assay. Although we were able to design algorithms that met the recommended PPV of 99% in five of six sites using the applicable high-prevalence strategy, options were often very limited due to suboptimal performance of individual RDTs and to shared falsely reactive results. These results underscore the impact of the sequence of HIV tests and of shared false-reactivity data on algorithm performance. Where it is not possible to identify tests that meet WHO-recommended specifications, the low-prevalence strategy may be more suitable.
Winners of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health-Global Health: Science and Practice Annual Student Manuscript Contest [editorial]
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Mar 24; 5(1):4-5.The 2 inaugural winners of the CUGH–GHSP Annual Student Manuscript Contest describe (1) the American Mock World Health Organization model for engaging students in global health policy and diplomacy, and (2) a successful Indo-U.S. twinning model of global health academic partnership led by students.
American Mock World Health Organization: An Innovative Model for Student Engagement in Global Health Policy.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Mar 24; 5(1):164-174.The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) is a model for experiential-based learning and student engagement in global health diplomacy. AMWHO was established in 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a mission to engage students in health policy by providing a simulation of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the policy-forming body of the World Health Organization that sets norms and transforms the global health agenda. AMWHO conferences are designed to allow students to take their knowledge of global health beyond the classroom and practice their skills in diplomacy by assuming the role of WHA delegates throughout a 3-day weekend. Through the process of developing resolutions like those formed in the WHA, students have the unique opportunity to understand the complexities behind the conflict and compromise that ensues through the lens of a stakeholder. This article describes the structure of the first 2 AMWHO international conferences, analyzes survey results from attendees, and discusses the expansion of the organization into a multi-campus national network. The AMWHO 2014 and 2015 post-conference survey results found that 98% and 90% of participants considered the conference "good" or "better," respectively, and survey responses showed that participants considered the conference "influential" in their careers and indicated that it "allowed a paradigm shift not possible in class."
Improving Adherence to Essential Birth Practices Using the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist With Peer Coaching: Experience From 60 Public Health Facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Jun 27; 5(2):217-231.BACKGROUND: Adherence to evidence-based essential birth practices is critical for improving health outcomes for mothers and newborns. The WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) incorporates these practices, which occur during 4 critical pause points: on admission, before pushing (or cesarean delivery), soon after birth, and before discharge. A peer-coaching strategy to support consistent use of the SCC may be an effective approach to increase birth attendants' adherence to these practices. METHODS: We assessed data from 60 public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India, that received an 8-month staggered coaching intervention from December 2014 to September 2016 as part of the BetterBirth Trial, which is studying effectiveness of an SCC-centered intervention on maternal and neonatal harm. Nurse coaches recorded birth attendants' adherence to 39 essential birth practices. Practice adherence was calculated for each intervention month. After 2 months of coaching, a subsample of 15 facilities was selected for independent observation when the coach was not present. We compared adherence to the 18 practices recorded by both coaches and independent observers. RESULTS: Coaches observed birth attendants' behavior during 5,971 deliveries. By the final month of the intervention, 35 of 39 essential birth practices had achieved >90% adherence in the presence of a coach, compared with only 7 of 39 practices during the first month. Key behaviors with the greatest improvement included explanation of danger signs, temperature measurement, assessment of fetal heart sounds, initiation of skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding. Without a coach present, birth attendants' average adherence to practices and checklist use was 24 percentage points lower than when a coach was present (range: -1% to 62%). CONCLUSION: Implementation of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist with coaching improved uptake of and adherence to essential birth practices. Coordination and communication among facility staff, as well as behaviors with an immediate, tangible benefit, showed the greatest improvement. Difficult-to-perform behaviors and those with delayed or theoretical benefits were less likely to be sustained without a coach present. Coaching may be an important component in implementing the Safe Childbirth Checklist at scale.Note: At the time of publication of this article, the results of evaluation of the impact of the BetterBirth intervention were pending publication in another journal. After the impact findings have been published, we will update this article on the effect of the intervention on birth practices with a reference to the impact findings.
Maternal Death Surveillance and Response: A Tall Order for Effectiveness in Resource-Poor Settings [editorial]
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Sep 27; 5(3):333-337.Most countries with high maternal (and newborn) mortality have very limited resources, overstretched health workers, and relatively weak systems and governance. To make important progress in reducing mortality, therefore, they need to carefully prioritize where to invest effort and funds. Given the demanding requirements to effectively implement the maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) approach, in many settings it makes more sense to focus effort on the known drivers of high mortality, e.g., reducing geographic, financial, and systems barriers to lifesaving maternal and newborn care.
East Asian Science, Technology and Society. 2016 Dec; 10(4):445-467.This paper studies the formation of Japanese ventures in family planning deployed in various villages in Asia from the 1960s onward in the name of development aid. By critically examining how Asia became the priority area for Japan's international cooperation in family planning and by analyzing how the adjective "humanistic" was used to underscore the originality of Japan's family planning program overseas, the paper shows that visions of Japanese actors were directly informed by Japan's delicate position in Cold War geopolitics, between the imagined West represented by the United States and "underdeveloped" Asia, at a time when Japan was striving to (re-)establish its position in world politics and economics. Additionally, by highlighting subjectivities and intra-Asian networks centered on Japanese actors, the paper also aims to destabilize the current historiography on population control which has hitherto focused either on Western actors in the transnational population control movement or on non-Western "acceptors" subjected to the population control programs.
Providing Family Planning Services at Primary Care Organizations after the Exclusion of Planned Parenthood from Publicly Funded Programs in Texas: Early Qualitative Evidence.
Health Services Research. 2017 Oct 20;OBJECTIVE: To explore organizations' experiences providing family planning during the first year of an expanded primary care program in Texas. DATA SOURCES: Between November 2014 and February 2015, in-depth interviews were conducted with program administrators at 30 organizations: 7 women's health organizations, 13 established primary care contractors (e.g., community health centers, public health departments), and 10 new primary care contractors. STUDY DESIGN: Interviews addressed organizational capacities to expand family planning and integrate services with primary care. DATA EXTRACTION: Interview transcripts were analyzed using a theme-based approach. Themes were compared across the three types of organizations. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Established and new primary care contractors identified several challenges expanding family planning services, which were uncommon among women's health organizations. Clinicians often lacked training to provide intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants. Organizations often recruited existing clients into family planning services, rather than expanding their patient base, and new contractors found family planning difficult to integrate because of clients' other health needs. Primary care contractors frequently described contraceptive provision protocols that were not evidence-based. CONCLUSIONS: Many primary care organizations in Texas initially lacked the capacity to provide evidence-based family planning services that women's health organizations already provided. (c) Health Research and Educational Trust.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2017. 12 p.People who use and inject drugs are among the groups at highest risk of exposure to HIV, but remain marginalized and out of reach of health and social services.